HP has announced a whole heap of Ultrabooks at its Global Influencers conference in Shanghai. By far the sweetest piece of kit there has to be the new Spectre XT which sits at the top of HP's Ultrabook lineup.
The laptop shell is built out of a combination of rather tasty materials, including a MacBook Air-esque brushed-aluminium casing. At 14.5mm thin and 1.39Kg in weight, it is well within the realm of the Ultrabook and it definitely feels like one. This is a particularly premium piece of hardware and HP has done a great job designing something that looks good and weighs very little.
The 13.3-inch screen, from our brief play, looks nice enough and does a good job of keeping the laptop's size down with a very slim bezel. We particularly like the rather retro-looking Hewlett Packard logo on top of the laptop - it makes a change from the usual Ultrabook style and gives the XT a premium look when it is closed.
Beats Audio is, of course, included as is what HP calls its Imagepad - essentially a multi-gesture trackpad. Again we didn't have long to play with the XT but it appears the trackpad has been seriously improved over HP's previous attempts.
HP Coolsense tech is also thrown in for good measure, preventing any unpleasant leg burn situations should you be putting your Ultrabook through its paces, by intelligently controlling fan speed and processor load automatically.
An HD Truevision webcam and backlit keyboard complete the top-of-the-line Ultrabook package. There is the option for up to 256GB of SSD storage and, thanks in part to a selection latest gen Intel processors, it manages eight hours of battery life. No exact details on processor speed or RAM yet, although we imagine it will be Ivy Bridge and you should be able to squeeze 8GB out of the XT.
Gigabit ethernet, HDMI out and USB 3.0 have the connectivity front covered. Interestingly, HP has opted to go light on the bundle software and instead ship the XT with some genuinely useful applications, namely Photoshop Elements 10 and Premiere Elements 10. Also included is a concierge service for the laptop should you have any issues with it.
Expect to pay £899 for the Spectre XT when it is out in June. There is also a HP Spectre XT Pro, which will ship in July with Windows 7 Professional and a TPM chip for business security priced in at £859.
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